Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.

Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.

By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.

As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.

But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.

While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.

The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...

Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.

And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.

Key terms for Antique and Vintage Longines Wristwatches:

Chronograph: A watch that also records time intervals, like a stopwatch.

Chronometer: A watch that has been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute not to lose more than four seconds per day, nor to gain more than six.

Escapement: A device that converts the pressure of a spring or coil into a fixed release of movement.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Imposing Longines Men's 9ct Solid Gold 1952 Vintage Full Uk Hallmarks Orig DialMens 1950 Longines Extra Long Lugs Stainless Automatic Vintage 17j Swiss WatchOutstanding Men's Longines Grand Prize Orig Dial Auto Vintage 1965 10k Gold FlldRare Longines S Steel Case Duo Dial Movement 9.32 Doctor Watch Circa 1930 Vintage Unusual Longines Conquest Power Reserve Automatic 1950Vintage Longines Military Cal 10.68z (10l) Black Dial - WaterproofMens Longines Automatic Gorgeous Fancy 1930's Longines Factory Vintage Spectacular Watch Excellent**vintage Mens Military Longines Czech Air Force Pilot's Cal 15.94 Watch C1935**1950s Vintage Mens Longines Wittnauer Striking Starburst Dial Gold 10k Rgp WatchLongines Le Grande Clasique Automatic MensLongines Grand Prize Men's Automatic Exlt. Original Dial 10kygf Case Cira.1962Mens 1951 Longines Curved Case Mint Dial Vintage 10k Ygf Vintage 17j Swiss Watch14k Gold Longines Black Opal Mosaic Face Diamond Bezel Ladies Dress Watch Mhc NrLongines Charleston Triple Pointer Date Moonphase Quartz Men's WatchLongines Hydro Conquest 47.5 Mm Case L3.665.4 Swiss Made ChronographLongines Admiral Automatic Mens, Cal. 430 Ultrachron Movement2 X Vintage Authentic Longines Men Watch 10k Gold Filled For Parts RepairGenuine Old Working Vintage Swiss Made Longines Mens Watch. Stainless Steel BandVintage 1970's Longines Thin Automatic Watch [l993.1] 25jLongines 9ct Gold Rare Swing Lug - Mechanical 17 Jewel Vintage - Post Wwii 1946A Classic Beauty Longines Flagship Hf Caliber 6651 Adjusted 4 Position For MensBeaut Longines-wittnauer Vintage Gent's Watch.fab Diamond Dial.orig.bracelet '67Longines Evidenza Automatic Chronograph Swiss Eta 2894 WatchAuthentic Swiss Made Mens Longines Automatic Date Blue Dial WatchLongines Weems Early 1940s Navigation Pilots Watch With Military Connections Vintage Swiss Made Longines Mens Watch 1960s Silver Dial 17 Jewels MovtLongines Conquest Automatic Men's Watch "nice"Vintage Men's Vgc Longines Wittnauer 10ct Gold F. 17 J. Wind-up Caliber:c11bg1 Vintage Longines Automatic Admiral 5 Stars Watch Ss Back Bmb 17j L890.2 #5340098Longines Chronometer Ultra-chron Stainless Steel Automatic Mens Watch (all Orig)1940s Vintage Curvex Longines Wittnauer Two Tone Dial Gold 10k Gf Deco WatchLongines Vintage Steel Screwback 19as Automatic No ReserveLongines Dolce Vita All Steel Quartz Men's WatchBeaut Longines-wittnauer Vintage Gent's Watch.fab Dial/rope Twist '50sLongines Ultra-chron Date Stainless Steel Automatic Mens WatchLongines Hand-winding Men's Watch St.steel & Gp Silver Dial Cal.l847.3 17jVintage Longines Flyback Chronograph 14kg Wristwatch RareSuperb Longines In Full Titanium An Exclusive All Original Collection For Mens !Longines Men's 5 Star Admiral 10kygf Case Auto Wind With Date Original Dial C.64Antique Swiss Men's Style Longines Wristwatch *serviced* No Reserve!!!Longines Chronograph Conquest Automatic - Excellent - No ReserveLongines Master Collection L2.676.4 Men's Watch " Excellent Condition "Nice Vtg Longines Gold 14k Men's 17 J 370 Wrist Watch - Running Subdial 18 14 KBeaut Longines-wittnauer Vintage Gent's Watch.fab Moustache '50sClassic Beauty Longines With Sub Second & Mechanical Handwind Movement For MensEarly 1960's Mens Longines Wittnauer Automatic Vintage Unique Ss Stunning WatchLadies Antique C1913 Vintage Swiss Longines 15 Jewel Mw White Gold Filled WatchRare" Longines 18kgp Beautiful Case Original Men's Watch & Box Elegant Quartz10k Gold Longines Automatic Wrist Watch 1200 Mystery Dial Parts Repair Nice BandGents Vintage Longines Watch Quartz WorkingVintage Mens Watch - Nice - 34mm - Longines Automatic Wristwatch - 10kwgfLongines 10k Gold Filled Bezel Mens Mechanical Hand Winding WatchLate 1940's Solid 14k Gold Longines With Manual 10l MovementFaulty Vintage Retro Longines Led Watch, 20 Micron 18k Gold Plate.Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Swiss Made Automatic WatchMens Mint 1952 Longines 14k Solid Gold Black Dial Vintage Swiss Made 17j Watch Longines A Rare Chrono Collection Full Titanium All Original With Box For Mens..Longines Vintage Steel Automatic Mens Watch No ReserveMens Rare Collector Vintage Longines Manual Wind 1960's Subdial Wow # A801

Recent News: Longines Wristwatches

Source: Google News

The Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph
World Tempus (press release), August 26th

For its latest creation, the Longines Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph, the brand has replicated the lines of one of its pilot watch dating from the 1950s. The 47.50 mm diameter of the original model has been reproduced, as well as the...Read more

New Ambassadors
World Tempus, August 21st

Longines is proud to welcome Yana Kudryavtseva and Giulia Steingruber, both exceptional gymnasts, the former in rhythmic and the latter in artistic, to the prestigious family of Longines Ambassadors of Elegance. The Swiss watch brand Longines...Read more

Longines Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph Watch
Forbes, August 21st

Those interested in reasonably-priced mechanical Swiss watches that exist almost exclusively as an ode to the past need look no further than the historic brand Longines. Under the Swatch Group Swatch Group as a parent company, Longines enjoys great ...Read more

Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix: Scott Brash claims victory
SkySports, August 16th

Olympic team gold medallist and world No 1 showjumper Scott Brash enjoyed a stunning British victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix at Horse Guards Parade. The 28-year-old Scotsman produced a masterclass on the brilliant ...Read more

This Land Is Your Land! Bruce Springsteen watches his daughter Jessica ...
Daily Mail, August 14th

Replacing the highway with London's Horse Guards Parade, the 64-year-old rocker's daughter Jessica Rae Springsteen proved that she had the skills to command the land as she took part in the Longines Global Champions Tour on Thursday. Playing the ...Read more

Deux ambassadrices élégantes pour Longines
RTN, August 14th

Longines choisit deux ambassadrices sportives. La maison horlogère de Saint-Imier a jeté son dévolu sur les gymnastes Giulia Steingruber et Yana Kudryavtseva. La Russe est la championne du monde 2013 de gymnastique rythmique. Quant à la Suissesse ...Read more

Vidéo. Ascot 2014
World Tempus, August 10th

Cette année, Longines célébrait sa huitième année de collaboration avec la célèbre course de chevaux, en tant que chronométreur officiel. Stefi Graf, l'ancienne championne de tennis et Ambassadrice de l'Elégance Longines, y a fait une apparition ...Read more

Longines Royal International Horse Show: Trevor Breen wins Queen Elizabeth II ...
SkySports, August 2nd

The only one of Hickstead's premier classes that the pair is yet to win is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, which Trevor and Addy have only been able to compete in once, when they were part of Ireland's FEI Nations Cup team in 2013 (they finished ...Read more